The student advisory council presented possible future field trip guidelines to the Middlesboro Board of Education at the regular monthly meeting on Tuesday night.
Prior to the presentation, Superintendent Rita Cook acknowledged the council’s hard work.
“The student advisory council has been meeting every month for, this is the third year, I believe,” explained Cook. “We meet monthly and talk about different things in the school and they make suggestions or recommendations.”
Cook also spoke to the crowd about how helpful the students have been.
“They have been a wonderful resource to the district because they come up with ideas and things that we do not even think about,” said Cook.
Cook went on to explain the importance of the presentation.
“These last couple of months we decided with the way that schools are looking at finances and all the discussion, that we would tackle a topic that is kind of a hot topic right now which is field trips,” said Cook.
Senior Ben Slusher read the group’s research findings in an effort to avoid seeing “necessary field trips” eliminated.
The research began by explaining the importance of both intellectual and emotional intelligence. The title of their paper was “Field Trips: EQ v. IQ.”
“Finding a balance between IQ, intellectual intelligence, and EQ, emotional intelligence, is a very important skill that many schools are having a hard time finding,” read Slusher.
The paper goes on to detail how financial restraints are further complicating the already difficult task of balancing the intelligences.
“Many school districts are having an even harder time finding this balance with their students due to financial cuts,” continued Slusher. “Field trips are often the first thing cut from slim budgets as it is an easy cut.”
In order to prevent all field trips from a quick cut, the group suggests the board looks at EQ qualities students need to be developing.
“To be successful and survive in today’s society, individuals need to have necessary communication and organizational skills to make sound decisions and interact with one another,” explained Slusher.
The group believes field trips are a key to allowing students to build on these skills.
“Field trips allow students to come in contact with events that will allow them to build these skills when they come into contact with things they normally would not experience,” read Slusher.
The group came up with a proposed checklist for the school board to use to determine if a field trip is appropriate and should survive the cut list.
“If school systems are going to be spending money on field trips, it is important that criteria is laid down to see if a field trip is appropriate or not,” continued Slusher.
Some of the criteria listed included participating students having no failing grades, the field trip must be relevant to the area of study and students must not be denied access to the trip due to lack of ability to pay.
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-248-1010, ext. 205, firstname.lastname@example.org.